What is my lighting good for, and advice on parrots feather and water sprite!
My tank is 45 gallons, 36x24x12, with a 30-60 gallon filter, which is corralled off, to not create alot of surface movement.
I have gotten my upgrade for my lighting fixtures, and i have three seperate three foot long fixtures each with a single t8 bulb in it. Currently on my tank is only one of these fixtures.
Its what i plan on working with for plants lighting.
Here is the stamp on my bulbs.
The other pictures are of my tank before the light, [it was a ten gallon hood with one 14 watt energy saver bulb] and the other is what my tank looks like now, with a single t8 bulb.
The plants i have currently are java moss, tied to river rocks at the bottom of the tank, a marimo ball, water sprite, and parrots feather.
My water sprite is floating, as i believe this is the only way to have this plant? though i am wondering if you could tie it to wood? or whatever else? i assume it wont root to it, but it might create a cool effect.
My parrots feather is also floating, as thats how it was sold to me, as a surface plant. Ive heard you can stick it in the gravel? I dont have much gravel, as i find it easier to clean. So if i tied three or four stalks together, and wieghted it down, would that be okay? Any other suggestions for how to use this plant?
I am looking for maybe another two types of plants. Im not really sure what im looking for, so suggestions based on my lighting would be appreciated!
Also, my lighting is okay for the plants i currently have?
The fish in my tank are as follows:
9 adult Guppies, [3m,6f]
1 BN pleco
1 RN pleco
2 Rosy Red Minnows
2 Apple Snails
30-40 Guppy fry, 3-5 days old
whoops forgot to put the stamp! :oops:
[i cant edit my posts?!]
My fixtures are from All Glass Aquarium, and is called 36" Deluxe Fluorecent Aquarium Reflector. 120 volt, 38 watts, 60 hz.
Ive been reading, and apparently there is more to lighting that watts, and t5's and t8's?
Someone please educate me!
The 'T' number is just the diameter of the tube in eighths of an inch, so T8 is an inch in diameter, T5 and T8 are not interchangeable, so you will need to stick with T8 if that is what you have, 36" T8s are 25 watts.
The 50/50 bulb you have is meant more for marine use, half of the output being actinic, which is single wavelength in the low 400 nm range. This is what is giving your tank the blue hue. Plants can use this, but will do much better under a more balanced light - like something around 6500K.
Java fern and anubias are low light plants that are not rooted in the substrate, java fern really needs to be attached to wood or rock, anubias can be as well, but can also be placed so that the rhizome just sits on the substrate, where it will send roots out and anchor itself.
The one fixture will be fine for what you have (but as Quantum pointed out a regular 'Daylight' 6500K bulb would be better).
If you add more plants that are more demanding in terms of light, you could add a second tube. Do not use all three, as that would push you up to a high light tank and you would have to bring nutrients up too meet that (notably CO2).
EDIT: Forgot your other questions. Do you know what species of Water Sprite? It's probably Ceratopteris thalictroides which actually does best planted in the substrate, but it can be left floating (I do in my 125 gallon). Ceratopteris cornuta is the one that floats better, it has wider leaves, but I haven't been able to find that one anywhere at all. In either case, this plant is extreamly prolific and will grow very quickly floating.
I'm not familure with Parrots Feather, so can't comment on it. If it is a stem plant, then yes it can be planted if you want to.
I concur with what others have posted. I too would change the tube; you can probably get a "daylight" tube in T8 with a 6500K rating from a hardwatre-type store. Just get the one in your tube length that is 6500K. GE, Phillips and Sylvania make one. This will give you better colour rendition of the fish and plants, and be fine for the plant growth.
My bad! I took a picture of the stamp on one of the bulbs, assuming they were all the same.
I actually have two 6500k and one 6000k. The light on my tank is one of the 6500k.
I found an 8000k bulb in my size at my lps..would i be better off with that one?
6500K is perfect.
The one pictured, 6000K, is only half that, the other half as mentioned is Actinic.
As Geo mentioned, the one in the photo is half actinic, that's the high blue part and not that good for plants.
Okay, Thanks! So, if thats at the top of a 24 inch tall tank, would the light reach plants at the bottom? I dont have enough gravel to plant in the substrate, though ive read that you can pot water sprite and parrots feather, so ive potted some in my QT tank, [12 inches tall] and i have one of the 6500k lights on it. I plan on putting them in my big tank if i can get em to grow. Is that light too high?
Now, my question is for spacing. Since parrots feather is basically bamboo, with no leaves except for small roots, could they be clumped together? or do they need thier space? I am using very clean detergent bottle caps, [my mom uses em for her kids at school, theyve been washed many many times.] and i have put only two stalks in one of them, with gravel to weigh the stems down. Could i put more? around 6-8?
it would be nice to have a bamboo forest..that could be a whole section in my tank!
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